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You don’t have to tell applicants how you’ll screen for interviews

Employers don’t have to tell applicants exactly how the hiring process works—for example, how you sort applications, evaluate candidates for possible interviews and make job offers. Just make sure that everyone in the HR office who handles applications knows what the rules are …

Keep selection process objective to ensure bias-Free hiring

Human factors sometimes cloud the judgment of hiring managers—and could end up costing an organization if it finds itself on the losing end of a failure-to-hire lawsuit. That’s why it’s crucial to institute checks that prevent a hiring committee or manager from imposing subjective criteria on applicants …

Make and keep interview notes to prove promotion process wasn’t discriminatory

Employers that lean heavily on interviews to decide which of two equally qualified candidates to promote should make sure they can later explain the selection process. That means asking participants in panel interviews to take and collect notes on what the interviews covered and how well the candidates did …

Feel free to expand candidate search even if your policy favors hiring from within

If, like many companies, you have a policy that encourages promotion from within, you may hesitate to look outside for additional candidates. Fear of a lawsuit might make you especially reluctant if one of the few internal candidates belongs to a protected class. As the following case shows, those fears are unfounded …

Do promotion criteria rely on company or job seniority?

If your organization uses seniority as a factor in making promotion decisions, make sure you think through what sort of seniority you really want to use—company seniority or job seniority. Make sure managers and employees alike understand which type of seniority counts for promotions …

Check for not so obvious patterns of race discrimination

Lots of employees try to blame lost jobs or promotions on discrimination. To do so, they assign themselves into protected classes that may not seem at all obvious. For example, a black employee who obviously hasn’t been discriminated against because he is black may add national origin to the mix …

Explain work schedule during interview, not after hiring

Does your organization operate on shifts or have unusual work hours? If so, it’s fair to both job applicants and the organization to be ultra-clear about what hours new hires should expect to work. The best approach is to ask about work availability up front—right on the application …

Beware anti-Labor comments if taking over unionized operation

When W&M Properties took over management of an office complex, it immediately set about changing the staffing model under which building engineers would work. Managers began interviewing the seven incumbent engineers for positions under the new structure as well as outside, nonunion candidates. At some point during the interviews, a hiring manager let it be known that the company did not want a unionized work force …

If possible, manager who hired should be the same one who fires


It stands to reason that a manager who thinks enough of an applicant to hire her won’t turn around and fire her a few months later in a fit of discrimination, especially if the applicant belonged to a protected class. That’s why it makes sense to have the same people who made the hiring decision be part of the termination process if the need should arise …

Workers told to ‘Go back and pick cotton’


Darryl Hall, a black warehouse worker for Detroit Forming Inc., will have his day in court after the Michigan Court of Appeals reversed a lower court’s ruling on his race discrimination case. Hall testified that company owner Leigh Rodney told workers at a shift meeting that if they didn’t like the way he ran the company, they could “go back and pick cotton.” …